Lizz Winstead Meets the Creationists

Lizz Winstead is a co-creator of the Daily Show and is a seasoned instigator of Twitter tussles with religious conservatives. On stage at the Reason Rally, she recounted some of her recent battles with the ideologically opposed, and mused that perhaps they don’t believe in evolution because it had yet to have any effect on them. Interesting, if true.

She also told the tale of her visit to the Creation Museum, and was particularly incensed that creationists believed that before Eve ate the infamous apple, childbirth was allegedly painless. I think if that gets out, the apple agricultural industry will collapse.

She was just delightful, frankly. She had a way of delivering some very heated points in a lighthearted way. I mean, how else are you going to break the news to creationists that some funny business would have had to have taken place with the earliest biblical matings.

I Believe That Keith Lowell Jensen Exists

Keith Lowell Jensen, a great comedian who performed at the last CFI Leadership Conference in 2015, is a big hit at the Reason Rally. He’s reminded us that instead of thanking God for Friday, we ought to thank a union member (which makes sense, since there many more of those to choose from, and they exist).

He also had some particular insights into the mechanics of aspirin as contraception, which, I’ll just say, doesn’t quite hold together logically. It’s funnier when he explains it.

On a personal note, Jensen is also known for his hilarious routines about being a dad, which resonates with me in particular, and he got me to begin reading the How to Train Your Dragon books to my kids. It was a very good call.

Planetary Scientist Caroline Porco: Religion Hurts Women Most

Caroline Porco, responsible for the amazing and inspiring images of Saturn from the Cassini mission, made a powerful statement about religion’s destructive and marginalizing impact on women. She wondered aloud as to why women worldwide haven’t yet risen up against the oppressive force that religion has been in their lives, noting that the more religious a society is, the worse it treats women.

“When women are given the power over their own lives, good things happen,” she declared, adding that “women are the key” to achieving a world of “sensible, secular thinking.” It was a moving moment of defiance and determination from someone who has already done so much to open our eyes to the wonders of the universe.

Robyn Blumner (Our Boss) Tells Nonbelievers to Claim Their Place at the Political Table

Our boss was just one of the first speakers for the Reason Rally! Robyn Blumner just came on the job as CFI’s CEO in January, when we merged up with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. She’s here mainly to talk about her own story, and about the Dawkins Foundation, leaving it to our excellent board chair Eddie Tabash to talk up the Center for Inquiry later.

“There are millions and millions and millions of atheists in America,” said Robyn. “But we are invisible. We have no political power. We can be dismissed by politicians with utter impunity. We can be insulted and we can be ignored and there is no political cost for it.

“And why is that? Because we are too quiet.”

Robyn asked us all to make some noise. I think after today, we’ll have no trouble with that.

Come Visit the Fortress of Secular-tude

Seriously, if you’re at the Rally, you need to get yourself to the exhibitors’ tent and see the huge CFI/RDF/Openly Secular setup. It’s a huge hit. People are lined up to spin our prize wheel and get their photo taken to declare themselves Openly Secular. Our signs, I don’t mind telling you, are quite popular. We’ve got the handsome mugs of Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher, and Julia Sweeney smiling down on us.

Meanwhile, we’ve got camera crews interviewing people for the Openly Secular campaign, and people are telling their own stories about being nonreligious in America.

Make the trek on down here. We have so much going on.

The Reason Rally is Here, Right On Time

We made it. It’s a hazy, humid day in Washington, DC, and there’s a stately gray hue over the Reflecting Pool, as thousands of staff, volunteers, and technicians put the final touches on setup for the 2016 Reason Rally. Months of planning, outreach, negotiations, promotion, meetings, and fundraising, capped off with a few crazy days of packing, coordinating, traveling, and other last minute scrambles have led to this moment.

Whether you’re checking in from afar, or your here at the Lincoln Memorial, this is where you can keep yourself up to date on all the goings-on: highlights from speeches, on-the-ground interviews and images, interactions with enthusiastic attendees, and hopefully-witty and insightful commentary from the CFI team. That team, by the way is comprised of the impossibly charming Nora Hurley, CFI web guru Matt Licata, and me, communications director Paul Fidalgo.

I was here four years ago for the first Reason Rally. I was brand new on the job, and I was overwhelmed by the excitement, passion, and sheer numbers of that event. That Rally sought out to show the country that the American nonreligious population was not going to be ignored, and would not be relegated to the sidelines. It worked. The country took notice, and it’s been talked about ever since.

This time around, we need a Reason Rally more than ever. Irrationality, science-denial, and dogma-driven policies are clogging up our politics, crackpot conspiracy theories are threatening to go mainstream, and around the world, secularists are under mortal threat.

I think this Rally will be bigger than the last. I think the impact will be deeper. We’re going to bring it to you from as many angles as we can. Anything could happen! (For example, we still don’t have power in the press tent. That could be a problem.) Check in often today, and whether you’re at home or out on the Mall, we hope you have a great Rally.

Prepare Ye, For the Reason Rally is Nigh!

It’s hard to believe, but the 2016 Reason Rally is just about here. Advocacy Days and other related events are already underway, and freethinkers from around the country are packing bags, in transit, and making sure their phones are charged.

But the main event, the Rally itself, starts Saturday morning. That’s the time to start checking in here at centerforinquiry.live for news, updates, images, and incredibly witty and insightful commentary throughout the weekend. Here’s a rundown of who is expected be speaking and when.

Of course we’ll also be on Twitter at @center4inquiry, on Facebook, and yes, we’ve even started posting to Instagram (finally!) as @center4inquiry. So follow us on all the things, so that whatever platform you prefer, CFI will be there to keep you informed and in the center of it all.

If you’re coming to DC, we wish you safe travels, and wherever you are, check back in on Saturday!

Starting June 4, This is Your Home Base for the Reason Rally

The Reason Rally - June 04 2016 - United Secular Americans The 2016 Reason Rally is almost here, and whether you plan to be there in person or just want to keep up with the day’s events from home, you’ve come to the right place.

CFI LIVE will be your central hub for all things Reason Rally. Starting June 4, this site will be updated frequently throughout the event with news and highlights, interviews with speakers and attendees, insights and commentary from CFI’s on-the-ground team, and the sights and sounds of what is likely to be the biggest celebration of the nonreligious in history.

So bookmark this page now and come back Saturday, June 4! Because whether you’re sitting comfortably at home or witnessing the event firsthand, whether you’re tapping at your phone on the National Mall or kicking back with a laptop 1000 miles away, you’ll be keeping up to date and in the know throughout the Reason Rally, right here at centerforinquiry.live.

See you June 4!